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Almost persuaded

Posted by: David Carroll

Acts 26:24-25 (NKJV)

Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, "Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!"

But he said, "I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason.

Acts 26:28 (NKJV)

Then Agrippa said to Paul, "You almost persuade me to become a Christian."

Festus, the Roman governor has replaced Felix and it has been two years since Paul was put in prison awaiting his appeal to Caesar. Paul now defends himself before Festus and before King Agrippa who has become interested in this case. Paul described his experience of being stopped by a vision of Jesus himself on the road to Damascus. Paul is obviously has a brilliant mind and is learned in all the knowledge of the day but this vision story was too much for Festus who exclaims that Paul has gone crazy. The world might think a committed born-again Christian has gone over the deep end too, but like Paul we can take heart and remind the world that our faith is not a blind faith but rather it is based upon truth and reason.

Agrippa's nervous response to all this, "You almost persuade me," is revealing but sad. Almost is not enough; it is either all or nothing. Agrippa had only listened to Paul's words for a short period of time but it was enough to make a decision and Agrippa missed his chance. Picture attempting to jump across a deep chasm. Coming close will not do, you must make it all the way. Of course that makes it sound too much like an effort on our part. The truth of the matter is that the jump is easy; you just have to let go of what you are holding on to when you make that step of faith, trusting in Jesus Christ and Him alone.

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